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Reviewed by Karen Pirnot for Readers' Favorite
Merry Christmas Cowboy by Janet Dailey is her latest gift to the women's fiction market. We meet Paula Lewis who is a tough cop on the Denver police force. She is roped into helping with security for a house which is to be decorated for a fund raising attempt to save the old mansion. Zach Bennett rides into town in his pickup truck to lend a hand and the two are immediately attracted. Despite the potential for romance, Paula must attend to her friend Edith's grandson. Edith is a sturdy but aging woman who seems to take care of everyone but herself. When Zach befriends Edith's grandson, Brandon, he takes on more than he bargained for; and when money is stolen from the funds for the Christmas house, Paula must decide on her loyalties. She suspects Brandon but has loyalties toward Edith who desperately needs support from her closest friend.
I felt the beginning of the book to be a bit slow to develop. We did meet some of the members of the decorating committee but we didn't get a true glimpse into Paula's hopes and dreams. She seemed to take a hit-and-miss approach to any relationship with Zach and, for a while, he appeared equally elusive in his intentions. Once the story got into full swing, it was a winner. People began to show their true colors and reluctant characters were forced to make decisions. This was an enjoyable read for a day snuggled up with a snowstorm outside and a ready cup of hot chocolate.